ALBUM TITLE: Durosoir
WORKS: Violin Sonata in A minor; Oisillon bleu; Cinq aquarelles; Chant élégiaque; Rêve; Prière à Marie etc
CATALOGUE NO: 105
Lucien Durosoir survived four years in the trenches of the First World War but, like so many, he survived at a price. In his case, it was a career as solo violinist that suffered: having played concertos by Brahms, Gade and Richard Strauss in Paris and premiered Fauré’s First Violin Sonata in Vienna in 1910, he could now no longer face the strain
of being a touring virtuoso and turned instead to composition.
A chief mover in this was encouragement from his fellow combatant André Caplet – a gentle, kind man who here perhaps took kindness a touch too far. The best music comes in the Cinq aquarelles, completed in 1920, which contain some interesting ideas and one or two charming textures. But otherwise, one has to say that Durosoir’s uncertain grasp of modulation or structure and his mission to keep the pianist busy at all costs make for tedious listening. One climbs yet another moderate hill to find yet another moderate view and wonders ‘How many more?’ and, even more pertinently, ‘Why?’ The recording sound is unexceptionable and the performers do what they can. Unfortunately, it’s not enough. Roger Nichols